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Subject: All...RIGHT!!!!

Peter Harris
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Date Posted: 22:58:41 09/29/03 Mon

I didn't see The New Tom and Jerry Show when it first ran (I was 14 years old and growing out of cartoons -- I never thought I would, but I did). I first saw them as a 3 P.M. afternoon show in 1984 on our ABC station (replacing The Edge of Night, which was riding into its last sunset). In the syndicated version, the half hour was filled with all of the MGM cartoons (including Spike and other characters, and also including the short-lived T&J revival from 1964-66, produced and directed by the immortal Chuck Jones and featuring an opera aria in each cartoon, voiced by a guest character), and it opened with one of the most cartoon-violent montages ever seen on television -- Tom dives into a sink which Jerry has emptied, revealing dishes; Tom gets chased around a barnyard by a bull, ending in Tom getting a tin bucket slammed onto the back of his head; Tom gets the back of his French suit chopped off with an axe pushed by Tuffy; Tom gets a window slammed on his neck, causing his tongue to roll out, and several others I'm quietly forgetting. This one had a piano theme with lots of glissandos. IMHO, though, the 1975 T&J theme was one of Hoyt Curtin's best, and that is NO mean feat considering he had The Flintstones, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Josie and the Pussycats (all of which are downloadable from a theme song site; however, The New T&J isn't). The TV-made cartoons do look rather languid compared to the old ones, especially since (because Tom and Jerry are buddies, with the occasional tiff), every episode had to feature a guest star who talked all the time (open mouth, close mouth, open mouth, close mouth, often while walking, so the same sequence of drawings could be used ad infinitum). Usually Tom and Jerry were limited to making faces at the guest star until he left (I don't think there were any female guests).

I was startled to hear that Don Messick has left the building. When did he pass on? He was certainly one of the great voice artists of our time, and I think he could have made a living as a character actor on camera (he was a regular -- playing a voice artist, of course -- on The Duck Factory, an instant-flop live-action MTM sitcom about an animation studio, remembered as the TV starring debut of Jim Carrey). And, of course, everybody remembers him as Papa Smurf, Dr. Benton Quest, Boo Boo, Scooby-Doo (did he do the voice for the movie?) and heaven knows how many more.

I think this site is SUPER.

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